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One-Sided Communication and the MPI Shared Memory Interface

Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe via FutureLearn


Get to grips with the new interface of MPI-3 and its practical use

Since MPI-3.0, the Message Passing Interface has two new features that enable you to share memory windows.

On this four-week course from Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE), you’ll learn how to use these new methods to maximise your use of the application.

Refresh your knowledge of MPI one-sided communication

One-sided communication, compared to two-sided communication, can help to improve performance by reducing synchronisation, having no delay in sending data, and increasing functionality and scalability.

You’ll begin by getting an introduction to MPI one-sided communication to refresh your knowledge and skills. You’ll learn how to use the new interface, examining case-use studies in the real world to further cement your learning.

Discover the principles of MPI shared memory and how to use it

You’ll explore how to split a communicator in shared memory islands and how to synchronise load and store operations. By the end of the course, you’ll understand restrictions and advanced options when using MPI-3 shared memory.

Learn from the experts at PRACE

The mission of PRACE is to enable high-impact scientific discovery and engineering research and development across all disciplines. By offering world-class computing and data management resources and services, they aim to enhance European competitiveness for the benefit of society.

This course is designed for anyone familiar with MPI that wants to learn to program using the new interface.

To take part in this course you don’t need a supercomputer, just an MPI environment on your laptop or computer.


  • Overview and the principles of One-Sided MPI Communication
    • Introduction
    • Introduction to one-sided communication
    • The three categories of one-sided routines
    • Functional opportunities, summary and quiz
  • Details and examples of One-Sided MPI communication
    • Windows and their remote access
    • Synchronization routines
    • Exercise, Summary and Quiz
  • MPI Shared Memory – principles and how to use
    • Introduction to MPI shared memory programming
    • Programming opportunities with MPI shared memory
    • Contiguous shared memory programming – how to
    • Alternative: NUMA domains and non-contiguous shared memory
    • Restrictions for MPI shared memory
    • Exercise & Discussion
    • Quiz & Summary of week 3
  • MPI-3 Memory models and fast synchronization Options
    • Memory Models
    • Shared memory synchronization rules
    • Further rules / Benchmarks / Summary / Discussion / Quiz

Taught by

Rolf Rabenseifner


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